Covid’s Impact: From the Eyes of an RN

Nurse
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Since March 2019, COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives tremendously, especially healthcare workers, RNs have been especially affected. 

Changes in policies occurred daily for the first couple of months, because the virus was all new to us all. And, healthcare employers especially were doing everything they could to try and stop this new virus taking over the world.  Change was taking place constantly, especially in the hospital setting.

Britteny Bustle, an RN at Randolph Hospital, said of the most difficult change in her work life since COVID-19 ,“Before Covid, the Operating Room was always busy. The amount of cases we had from day to day always fluctuated, but we were seeing many cases that were allowing us to work 36-40 hours each week. But once the shutdown happened, elective surgeries were cancelled, and we were only allowed to perform “essential” surgeries. Being employed at a rural hospital, and only having permission to do life-sustaining surgeries, meant we were only doing about 3-5 surgeries per day most days. So having to adapt to a huge drop in worked hours, and pay has been a big struggle.” 

Bustle commented on the staffing challenges at the hospital,  “One thing the hospital tried … was to let us work in other departments to have a better chance at getting more hours, but at the time I was 5 months pregnant and not allowed to work in other departments for fear of contracting the virus and harming my unborn baby.” 

Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash (Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash)

Even through all the change, worry, and fear, RNs like Britteny Hassle pulled through, stayed strong through their circumstances. Jenna Miller, an Rn at Sandhills Pediatrics, brought light to an incredible fact about RNs during the uncertain times of Corona. She said, “Covid has impacted my job in a positive and negative way. I think that due to the spread of Covid we have been very short-staffed, but at the same time overloaded with patients. Miller said of her colleagues,  “We have had to learn to work better as a team, and hopefully that will stay the same when things calm down.” Although there has been so much negative as a result of Covid, from the words of Jenna Miller, in a positive aspect, it has helped RNs as a whole to work together as a team.

Miller also commented on how many Covid-19 related patients she sees a day.  “30 plus, especially after the holidays. People still chose to travel and hold large gatherings, which just spread the virus more. Also, working in a pediatric office, I see a lot of kids who are back in school, or have parents who work in the public and are exposed through that.”  In a rural Pediatrics practice, 30 plus patients is a significant number. Covid-19 is serious, and RNs along with all healthcare workers are doing everything they can to help the public during this time.

Covid 19 Words
Photo by Марьян Блан | @marjanblan on Unsplash

In addition to helping others, RNs also had personal struggles to deal with. However, you will find that through all of the bad that comes with this pandemic, RNs try to keep a positive mindset, and they have things to be grateful for.  Miller said, “I think as nurses we have really grouped together and become a family. I think going through this has built a relationship that we couldn’t have with anyone else. I consider my coworkers family.”  Bustle also talked about the positive during this crisis, “A lot of scary times have come with Covid, but by far, the biggest blessing through Covid is experiencing my first baby. In a world full of bad news, he’s been the one light of the year, and I am so grateful for him to be here, healthy, and giving some positivity to our lives now.” 

 

 

Covid-19 is a very real and scary pandemic affecting all of our lives right now, and it is important to see the impact it has on all of us, especially our healthcare workers. RNs dedicate their lives to the community, to help us in times of need, putting us, the members of our communities above themselves.